Volume 71, Issue 1 ________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry



THIS CITY IS THE CAULDRON


This City is the Cauldron!

Jerusalem is also the Burdensome Stone,

and the Cup of Trembling

by: Darrell G. Young

March, 2004

 

    The Old Testament uses a prophetic paradigm analogy that indicates that Israel viewed the Holy City of Jerusalem as a cauldron (iron wall-Ezekielís iron pan in chapter 4) of protection against its enemies. (Ezekiel 4:1-3 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.)

    But God has foreordained that Jerusalem would become a seething pot of judgement. Even John the Revelator referred to the apostate spiritual status of Jerusalem. (Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.)

    In reality it is because of Israelís waywardness and propensity for whoring after other gods, intertwined together with the evil intentions and designs of the world (Satanic conspiracy) against Israel, that God has allowed the city of Jerusalem to become a ďboiling potĒ for the judgment not only of Israel, but also for the judgment of all the nations in the world. That is the reason so many prophecies highlight the fact that God will gather ďall nationsĒ in the valley of decision. (see Psalms 118:10, Isaiah 34:2, Isaiah 66:18, Joel 3:2, Zechariah 14:2,

    The people and the leadership of Israel believed that Jerusalem was untouchable. The chief princes and priests of Israel rationalized that any enemy (Babylon in the case presented in Ezekiel) was incapable of penetrating Jerusalemís supernatural iron wall of protection. (Websterís Dictionary describes a caldron as a large iron kettle or vat that is used for boiling something) From a historical context, God is using the city of Jerusalem as a caldron. Into this caldron, he has prophesied that he will cast the nations of the world in the last days to let them boil, or stew (heat up) over the controversy of Zion.

 

    Ezekiel 11:1-4 Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lordís house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh. Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.

 

    Ezekiel chapter eleven discloses that Israel had gradually lulled into a false sense of security and self-righteousness, and that the rulers of Israel convinced the people to reject the word of the prophets pertaining to the impending judgement of God. The princes mentioned in Ezekiel 11:1 (Jaazaniah, Pelatiah) dismissed the idea that God would ever judge his people so harshly, as to banish them from the city of Jerusalem, or heaven forbid, allow the Holy City to be ravished by foreign powers. These princes and rulers over Israel compelled upon the children of Israel to ignore Godís holy prophets and the forewarnings of Godís righteous indignation over the sins and blasphemous practices committed in the Holy City. The leaders reasoned to the people that Jerusalem was an eternal safe haven for them. The priests convinced the people that no harm could ever befall them in the city that God had chosen for his residence. Thus their rationale of human reasoning was that Jerusalem was actually a caldron (iron wall) of protection from the fiery flames of evil! Living under this rationale the people became hardened against the counsel of Godís prophets. So they set themselves to build houses and to make plans for a future of uninterrupted prosperity, without any thoughts about the need for repentance.

 

Israel Will be Fooled Again in the Last Days by Wicked Counsel

 

    But God called the humanistic reasoning of the princes ďwicked counsel.Ē He sent Ezekiel to prophesy against the unabated adulterous blasphemous society that thrived inside the city. The following verses from Isaiah, Jeremiah and the Lamentations highlight the fact that God viewed Jerusalem as a harlot. It had been a city joined unto the Lord, a city wherein God had resided with his people, a city betrothed for HIS name, but as Ezekiel 4:1-8 forewarned, God would abandon the city and leave it defenseless against its vicious adversaries for failing to heed the call of repentance. (In the Bayblonian episodes confronting the princes of Israel recorded in the books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, God forewarned the people of Israel under Zedekiahís reign not align themselves with Egypt and to strive against Nebuchadnezzar, for therein would lie the destruction of Jerusalem) (Zedekiah even had Jeremiah imprisoned for prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem, see Jeremiah 37, 39 and 32:1-3 and Ezekiel 12 and 17)

    The wicked counsel of the former princes of Israel foreshadows the fact that Israel will make the same mistake again in the Last Days. And once again, the kettle of compromise will be the city of Jerusalem. Today Israel is searching for security. It wants nothing more than to reside inside the Holy City where it can live and worship in safety, and build houses. The modern political leadership of Israel today is continually entertaining every avenue of worldly peace overture that comes down the pike, only to found a tragic disappointment. Still, the rulers of Israel insist that peace and safety is just around the corner. The sad truth of the matter is that the princes of Israel will enter into a (false) peace-and-security alliance with the Antichrist in the not too distant future. In return, Israel will be granted permission to have a presence on the Temple Mount, but in fact Israelís covenant with the Antichrist will lead to the most troublous era in their history, and catapult the whole world into a caldron of judgment by God.

 

The Harlotry of Jerusalem

 

    I cringe with sadness and trepidation every time I recall the words of Isaiah the prophet as they fell from the lips of Jesus as he overlooked the city and wept in bitterness because of its harlotry. Imagine if you will the Lord stepping to an overlook near the outskirts of the city and saying, ďJerusalem, Jerusalem, How is the faithful city become an harlot.Ē It is an event and an accusation that transcends time and history. And now today, more than ever before, the city continues to fester and boil like flesh inside a seething cauldron!

 

    Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

    Lamentations 1:8-9 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

    Jeremiah 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.

 

     Jesus lamented the fact that Jerusalem was so bedeviled by other lovers. He grieved over the fact that upon the day of his visitation that he would have gathered them together, even as a hen would gathereth her chickens under her wings, but she would not. (Matthew 23:37) Thus because Israel was blinded to the powerful forces of seduction, the Jews were scattered and the city of Jerusalem was lost.

    Nevertheless, God had pre-programmed Jerusalem to once again (later in history) become a caldron, and that is the issue that is flaming up before us today. Events over the course of the last five decades since the rebirth of the State of Israel belie the fact that God is using those events as kindling for the fire under the cauldron that is Jerusalem                 

 

The Fire Under Jerusalem is Beginning to Flame

 

     Jerusalem, the Holy City, the City of the Great King, God's Holy Hill of Mount Zion, the apple of Godís eye and the center of the Earth. Jerusalem was referred to by many reverent and grandiose names in the Bible, but it is also a fact that Jesus, like Jeremiah and Isaiah, also alluded to the city as a harlot. Many of the Old Testament prophets highlighted the fallen down status that is the city of Jerusalem. The Bible historically depicts the holy city of Jerusalem as a wayward woman, having left her husband, and being enamored with the gods of the world.

   And today, it is well known throughout diplomatic circles that Jerusalem is the most difficult and complex problem that the diplomats and peace-negotiators have to deal with. Isnít it ironic that Zechariah, as long as 2700 years ago predicted just the scenario that is set before us today. The centrality of the complex and explosive issue of Jerusalem derives not only from its security considerations and economic interests, but more from its emotional, geo-political and religious sensitivities. The complexity of the issue is the result of three factors: Jerusalem is deemed holy for adherents of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is a Holy City for many millions of people, most of whom will never set a single foot inside the city. But by far the hottest boiling point issue within the scope of the Israeli-Arab Conflict is the subject of the conflicting national claims of two peoples, the Israelis and Palestinians, over to whom Jerusalem belongs.

    Jesus highlighted the fact that the city of Jerusalem would become the focus of international intrigue in the Last Days. He also specified that Jerusalem would remain a city over-run and dominated by Gentile political powers until HE returned to Israel to establish his kingdom in the Holy City. (Luke 21:24 Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.) Yet, today the political powers of this world continue to deny Israelís rights to the city, and the Last Days imperative of Satan is to marshal the forces of this world to encircle the city of Jerusalem for a climactic battle with the Lord. (This is known in the Bible as ďthe day of battleĒ or the great and terrible day of the Lord) And so in the meantime, the heated controversy over Jerusalem continues to boil.

 

A Brief Recent Legal History of Modern Jerusalem and the Dilemma it Presents

    Since its independence in 1948, and indeed even in prior times, Israel's rights to sovereignty in Jerusalem have been firmly grounded in history and international law. The aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War only reinforced the strength of Israel's claims. Soon after the end of the Middle Ages, in 1517, the city, together with the rest of Palestine, came under Ottoman rule, which lasted four hundred years. Since 1830 the city has had a Jewish majority, at first merely a relative majority but subsequently an absolute one. The Holy Places that make up most of the Old City have often been a matter for dispute.

   In the 19th century there was bitter controversy when certain European countries extended their protection over the various Christian churches in Palestine, and over their Holy Places. In order to regulate the status of the various churches at the Holy Places, the Ottoman government published a number of statutes, the most important one being that of 1852. The statute for Jerusalem dealt with the Holy Places and determined the powers and rights of the various religions in those places. The Ottoman arrangement became generally known internationally as the status quo for Jerusalem until 1947. This status quo enjoyed international recognition by the 1856 Treaty of Paris (after the Crimean War), and by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Then after 1917, (WWI and the fall of the Ottoman Empire) as the period of the British Mandate began in Palestine, the principles of the status quo were extended to include the Western (or Wailing) Wall.

   In 1947, after the Second World War, Britain requested to be relieved of its Mandate and that the U.N. General Assembly consider the Palestinian question. Thus, on the 29th of November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the famous resolution on the future government of Palestine. Part III of that resolution dealt with Jerusalem. The General Assembly recommended the establishment of a "corpus separatumĒ under a special international regime" to be administered by the United Nations through the Trusteeship Council and a Governor (future Antichrist?) to be appointed by it. In the economic sphere, the city was to have been united with the existing Jewish and Arab States which the General Assembly had recommended to set up in Palestine. The resolution of the General Assembly received the consent of the national leadership of the Jewish Community of Palestine," but it was categorically rejected by the Arabs, who immediately started attacking Jewish towns and villages, including the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

    A number of debates on the future of Jerusalem took place in the U.N. during the years 1948-1952, and the Trusteeship Council drew up a draft statute for the city, but from 1952 until the Six-Day War in 1967 no significant discussions took place on the subject. Jerusalem was not mentioned in Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 of 22 November 1967 and 22 October 1973 respectively." In the 1978 Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt Jerusalem was not dealt with due to fundamental differences of opinion between the parties on this issue. However, each of the participants in the Conference stated its position in a letter sent to the other party via the President of the United States. Israel's Prime Minister in 1991, Menachem Begin, stated that in accordance with legislation of 1967, "Jerusalem is one city, indivisible, and the Capital of the State of Israel." Whereas Egypt's President, Anwar el-Sadat, stated that "Arab Jerusalem is an integral part of the West Bank", and "should only come under Arab sovereignty".

    After the 1967 war and the ensuing armistice agreements, the UN Security Council called upon member states with embassies to Israel situated in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the city, thus symbolically at least denying Israelís claim of it being their capitol city. The UN resolution continues to dispel any notions most countries have of recognizing Israelís claim to an undivided Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. In his 1982 peace initiative, President Reagan declared that the status of Jerusalem should be determined through negotiations, and that process became a framework for the Madrid Peace Conference that later fostered the Oslo Process, and today is being hammered out in the Quartetís Roadmap.

    In 1950, the late King Hussein of Jordan, declared the annexation of the West Bank including Jerusalem. In 1988 he renounced that annexation and announced that he intended to disengage the West Bank from the State of Jordan in the sphere of law and administration, thus relegating Islamic claims to Jerusalem to the religious authority under the Muslim Waqf. That authority now resides with the Arab League and Yasser Arafat. In the same year, the Palestine National Council of the PLO proclaimed the right of the establishment of a new State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. And that is the reason that Arafat and his PLO terrorist machine enjoys such a high level of incorporation amongst the Middle East power brokers.

 

To Whom Does Jerusalem Really Belong?

 

The Jews say it belongs to Israel

   Jerusalem was the political capital and the Temple Mount worship center of the ancient Commonwealth of Israel for over 1,000 years, and it has continued throughout history to be the spiritual home of the Jewish people. King David made it the capital in 1004 BC. Jerusalem remained the capital until its destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD and the loss of Jewish independence. Jerusalem is the "heart and soul" of the Jewish people's spiritual identity and national yearnings. On every occasion that the Jews have been an independent people in the Land of Israel, Jerusalem has been their capital. Throughout the centuries, no other nation, other than the Jewish people, made Jerusalem its capital. While important to other faiths, Jerusalem is at the center of the Jewish religion. For Jews, it is understood from the Torah to be the future capital of the Messiah. And on that point they are correct, but unfortunately they cannot foresee the approaching appearance of a false Messiah before the true one comes.

 

The Arabs say it belongs to Islam

   It is the third most sacred place to Moslem believers, after Mecca and Medina, of Saudi Arabia. The city was under Moslem control from the seventh century until World War I, with the one-century exception during the Crusades.

   The present world-wide conflict between fundamentalist Islam and the West is in reality a supernatural struggle over the control of Jerusalem. The religion of Islam is being used by certain elements within the Satanic conspiracy to usher in the kingdom of the Antichrist to marshal the forces of the Mid-east to oppose Israelís rights to the city.

 

The Vatican/Papacy claims it belongs to the Church

   Jerusalem is sacred to Christians because of both Old and New Testament associations, and it is of course the site of the death and resurrection of Christ. The holy sites are of great concern, of which the Catholic Church of the Holy Sepulchre is supreme.

    Rome and the Vatican would like nothing better than to see Jerusalem become the theatrical stage of the universal church, and the seat of the Supreme Pontiff. The true motivations of the Papacy were revealed in the historic Crusades of the 11th century. Revelation thirteen portrays the future emergence of the Antichrist in the city of Jerusalem, perhaps at a mid-tribulation point.

 

The United Nations says it belongs to the World

    Since Jerusalem is revered by the world's three great monotheistic religions and because of that fact it is extremely critical as the worldís ďhottest spotĒ that could endanger world peace at any time, and continually threatens to ignite a world war of unimaginable proportions. Therefore, the U.N. prefers to "internationalize" the city, so that no single ethnic or religious group, or nation would have absolute control over the city of Jerusalem. In fact, many leaders have suggested that Jerusalem would make suitable headquarters for the UN itself, thereby serving as a model city to symbolize global unity.

 

Jerusalem is the Future Home of Jesus Christ

    What should the attitude be among those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that believe that God is using the city of Jerusalem as a caldron of his judgement? My (FOJ) conviction is that all of the Land of Israel, including Jerusalem, belongs to the Jewish people by divine decree. We should recognize Israelís rights of ownership, and conduct our foreign policy with that fact in mind or else we will find ourselves in direct opposition to Godís plans for the city, and indeed His plans for the whole world.

 

    Micah 4:1-2 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

 

   This is the type of new-world order under the King of the Jews that Satan is seeking to preempt. Satan is conspiring with the nations to usurp Christís betrothed place in Jerusalem.

      

The Transformation of Jerusalem is Coming

    Jerusalem was transformed from an insignificant backwoods city into an international megalopolis when Israel recaptured the Old City in 1967. Within months, the old slum was cleared away from the Wailing Wall, and a grand plaza was established. Soon hundreds and thousands of people began gathering there daily to pray and worship the God of Abraham and Moses. Once Jerusalem was reunited under Jewish control, not only Jews but the Moslems had free and total access to the Dome of the Rock, the Al Aksa Mosque, and all their holy places throughout the Land. Christians also, including evangelicals, had complete and unfettered access to all the important places in Israel, including the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Garden Tomb, the Mount of Olives, and all the Sea of Galilee. But this transformation of Jerusalem pales in comparison to the transformation that will take place when Jesus returns to the city, and only portends the cosmic conflict that is presently brewing over it.

    But ironically, and just as God had forecast, along with Jewish control over the city has come controversy and distress of nations. Israel, feeling intense diplomatic pressure and under microscopic scrutiny from the world has never felt adequately secure enough in the city to even exercise its rights to the Temple Mount. Thus Jerusalem has become a Cup of Trembling to the whole world. 

    God never gave the legal title of Jerusalem to Islam or to Christians or to the United Nations. He unequivocally gave the legal rights to Jerusalem to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob. No other city in the world carries with it such a Divine conveyance! So what right does the world have to try to nullify this grant to Israel from the Lord?

 

The Worldís Resolve to Remove Jerusalem from Israeli Control

    The Bible teaches that Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling and a burdensome stone for all the nations in the End Times, (see Zechariah 12:1-3) therefore we should not be surprised that the caldron is now heating up. In reality, the worlds resolve to deny Jerusalem to Israel is a reflection of the fact that Satan is feeling the heat to counter the providence of God to restore Jerusalem. By fomenting forces around the world to contest Israelís right to the city, Satan is actually playing into Godís hand of judgment.

 

A Prophetic Review of Ezekielís Cauldron

     Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel. His name means to be ďstrengthened by God.Ē Ezekiel became an exile of Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzarís forces came to destroy the city in 587BC.

Ezekiel was used of God to prophesy about Jerusalemís destruction and also it future glory. Even his wife even died as a symbol of Godís judgment, his providence and his eventual designs for the city of Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 24:16-24)

   Ezekiel plainly cast Jerusalem as a boiling pot and its most prestigious inhabitants and rulers as the very flesh and bones that would be subjected to the fiery coals of Godís indignation. He even calls Jerusalem a bloody city, and makes the comparison that her idolatrous and blasphemous shepherds are like scum in a molten pot. Ezekiel even portrays the fact that God himself is the gatherer of the wood, the kindling and the coals, and that at Godís righteous indignation over Israelís sin and disobedience, they have actually fueled his great wrath against them.


    Ezekiel 24:1-12 Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of imageBabylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day. And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Set on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it: Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones. Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein. Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it. For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust; That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the bloody city! I (GOD) will even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord God.

    Ezekiel 11:1-4 Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lordís house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh. Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.

 

    Ezekiel accurately prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem in 586-587BC.  Ezekiel had been trained to assume the duties of a Jewish priest, but God in his all-knowing wisdom refashioned him into one of Israelís greatest prophets. Ezekiel, along with Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel lay the foundation of apocalyptic prophecy that found its conclusion in The Revelation. His use of the ďcauldronĒ paradigm symbolism, while expressing the coming judgment of God also offered hope to the exiled of Israel. Jerusalemís cup of iniquity ran over with the captivity of Babylon, but its cauldron of impending judgment for the nations today is a cup that is filling to the brim once again.

    God expelled Israel from the city 2500 years ago, and subjected its flesh to the sword. He delivered them into the hands of strangers for 2000 years. But now God has returned the Jews back into the city and from there (inside their borders) HE will judge them for the final time, and also place his spirit within them.

   Ezekielís vision of the valley of dry bones was the sequel to the cauldron vision. Israelís bones have been boiled and bleached with fire and time. But God has brought the body of Israel back into its borders for the purpose of breathing life into Israel. That breath will begin to echo in the house of Israel when Jesus returns. And when Jesus returns unto Israel, Jerusalem will no longer be a seething cauldron unto Israel, but a cauldron of judgment unto those nations of this world who have defied Jesus right to reign in Jerusalem!

     The nations and armies of the Antichrist, and all the hosts that are under Satan, (the great red dragon) do not realize it, but by encircling Jerusalem to fight against Godís anointed, they are being beckoned to the great City that is The Cauldron of God!

 

     Ezekiel 11:5-11 And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain.  Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord God. And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel:

 

 

 

Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry

By: Darrell G. Young

March 2004





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